One of the most moving things that Jesus said to us is in chapter 15 of the Gospel of John. Here Jesus said that we did not choose Him, but he chose us.1
We, as born-again Christians, emphasize the personal decision that we make when we give our lives to the Lord. The old saying that “God doesn’t have grandkids” is true; He only has kids. Everyone has to respond to His call individually.
However, we should not forget the importance that the Bible places on God’s role in our salvation. It clearly says that we love Him because He first loved us.2 Jesus said that we cannot go to Him unless the Father draws us.3
This is a liberating truth. He wanted us! That is why He paid the stipulated price to redeem us. He sought us out and drew us to Himself.
When we finally responded to His call, He took us in with joy. He did all this because He loves us.
We know that we are the children of a loving God, but do we know what He expects from us?
He is not expecting perfection, but rather, holiness.
The perfectionist can run into serious difficulties in the Christian life. He can get impatient, harsh, and demanding when God Himself is not impatient, harsh or demanding.
Holiness is not obtained but rather imparted. Paul encourages us to put off the old man who is corrupted by lusts and deceit. He tells us to be renewed in the spirit of our mind and to put on our new selves in whom the likeness of God is created in righteousness and true holiness.4
We don’t try to reform the old man but rather to get rid of him, put him off.
In the Old Testament, the priests had to clothe themselves according to very exacting stipulated rules given by God. In the New Testament, we, the royal priesthood have to, also.
After we put off the old man, we have to put on the Lord Jesus Christ,5 put on love,6 and put on our new self, created in the likeness of God.7
I can’t tell you how to put on Christ, the new man, or how to put on love. These are things that are reserved exclusively for your heavenly Father and I am just your brother. I don’t know how to explain it. You need to ask Him directly. Wait on Him and He will answer.
We do not strive to be perfect nor to be holy. We put on Christ, put on the new man, put on love, and then we walk with our head held a little higher.
Someone once said that no one is perfect, until you fall in love with that one. Then they are perfect for you.
God is in love with you.
1- John 15:16; 2- 1 John 4:19 3- John 6:44 4- Ephesians 4:22-24 5- Romans 13:14
6- Colossians 3:14 7- Ephesians 4:24